Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Cheating is cheating, plain and simple

Did anyone else think Paul Daugherty's column on Sunday was odd? Under the headline "Rules crowding out rogues," Daugherty seems to say cheating is OK in NASCAR. Last week, before the Daytona 500, NASCAR came down hard on four teams for cheating. Daugherty wrote:
Driver Jeff Burton said: "We've given the perception that we're a bunch of manipulative guys that are out there trying to screw everybody out of a win. That's just not good for our sport."


Why not?

And he continued:
As we admire the high-tech, high speeds from Daytona today, we also should offer a moment of silence for a lost age of racin'.

NASCAR has character now. What it lacks is characters.

What does Daugherty want? The Bengals have characters. In June, writing about the Bengals' character issues, Daugherty wrote, "You could wonder how a person who is a problem away from work can magically be a good citizen on company time. The answer usually is, he can't." On May 28, he said this about Chris Henry: "There is a fine line between stupid and sad when it comes to the bad behavior of professional athletes. Henry is tiptoeing it like a ballerina."

About steroid use by professional athletes and its influence on teenagers, Daugherty wrote in March 2005:
Here's what a doctor and researcher told The New York Times: "You are left with low testosterone levels, which can affect chemical levels in the brain, which control mood, and these people very often can become very depressed and suicidal. I've had a number of steroid-using adolescents who have experienced suicidal thoughts."

That ought to be enough to send any parent of a high school jock running to the kid's medicine cabinet or beneath his mattress. And it ought to be enough to activate Baseball's dormant conscience and get its people to Capitol Hill on Thursday.

Once, we rifled through our kids' private stuff seeking dope or cigarettes. Now, we look for vials and syringes and the telltale black acne on their backs and shoulders.

How do you pretend to abhor character issues in one sport, and decry cheating in another sport because it's a bad influence on young people, and then say NASCAR shouldn't be too hard on cheating because it's chasing all the good ol' boys away? There are plenty of kids who follow NASCAR. Is the message sent to them by Michael Waltrip's team's cheating any different than that sent by Rafael Palmiero's steroid use? It's as if Daugherty thinks rednecks and their lax morals are cute and entertaining. It's bigoted and it's wrong. What's lax are Daugherty's ethics.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I marvel at how the Enquirer employees always come on here and get snippy at News Ache's author. Perhaps if you all showed the same disdain and backbone to your editors instead of being content to be lazy and overpaid, your paper would be good on a consistent basis.

There is a reason that while most Gannett properties have reader penetration levels between 60 percent and 80 percent, the Enquirer's is about 20 percent.

It is a sub-standard product.

12:17 PM  

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